City Dog, Country Frog

Written By: Mo Willems

Illustrated By: Jon J. Muth

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations and Text:

Before you begin your read-through, look over the cover and illustrations with your child. Ask questions about what s/he predicts the story is about by asking:

What do you think will happen in this story?

How do you think the City Dog and Country Frog became friends?

{Flip to a certain page} What do you think is happening in this picture?

What are some things that frogs like to do? What about dogs?

This story follows the friendship of a dog and a frog through the four seasons, so ask your child about the seasons and what s/he loves about them. Ask, “What season is it right now? Can you think of some holidays that happen during this season? What is your favorite season? What are some of your favorite things to do during that time of year?”

As You Read

Vocabulary Building:

While reading the story, encourage your child to stop when s/he comes across a word that they are not familiar with. Allow him/her to discover the meaning of the word using the other words and illustrations surrounding it. Examples of new words in City Dog, Country Frog are:




Making Connections:

One way to make the book more enjoyable is by relating the story to your child’s own life experiences. For example, when the frog teaches the dog how to play country frog games, ask your child, “Have your ever taught one of your friends how to play a game? What was the game? How do you play? Did you like playing that game with your friend? Why or why not?”

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret:

Ask your child questions to ensure comprehension of the story you have just read. These questions may include:

What was your favorite part of the story? Why?

Where did the frog and the dog meet?

What country frog games did the frog teach to the dog? What games did the dog teach the frog?

Why did the frog want to play remembering games during fall?

Why was the dog sad? What do you think happened to the frog?

What happened at the end of the story? How was it like the beginning of the story?

This is a beautiful story about friendship and embracing differences so ask your child about his/her friendships by asking, “Do you have a friend that is different from you? How are you different? What are some things that you like to do together?” If you have a pet at home, you can also ask, “Do you think {insert pet’s name} would be friends with the dog and the frog? Why or why not?”

Activity: Handprint Book of Seasons

Adapted from The Nature of Grace

Seasons Book2.jpg

Supplies: Blue and white construction paper, hole puncher, three small binder rings, paint and a paintbrush, scissors, glue, cotton balls, markers or crayons, red buttons (optional), and string.

This fun activity lets kids depict all of the seasons in a fun little book while also getting their hands dirty. Be sure to cover your workspace because things can get a bit messy.

  1. Paint your youngster’s hands and forearms with brown paint and let him/her make four identical prints on four different sheets of blue construction paper. Once they have gotten washed up, let him/her paint a tree for each season. You can get really creative for each tree. For example: for the winter tree, you can cut out mini snowflakes from white paper and paste them onto the tree. You can also use cotton balls to depict snow as well.
  2. Create a cover page with a title like “The Seasons of {insert child’s name}’s Tree”. Be sure to have your child add a fun illustration with trees and a drawing of him/herself!
  3. Once all of the paint has dried, put the pages of your book together, hole punch them, and add the three binder rings. Next, have your child draw a small depiction of him/herself on the white construction paper and cut it out. Glue the image to the end of the piece of string and then attach the other end to the top of the book.
  4. Add text to your book by writing the season at the top of each picture and then writing characteristics of or activities for that season on the back of the previous page. For example: for the fall tree, you can write “The fall is when it starts to get a little chilly. This is when I like to jump in piles of leaves and go pumpkin picking! Halloween and Thanksgiving happen during this time of year too!” You can even draw a word bubble that says, “My tree has lots of colorful leaves on it!” and when you get to that page, have the small figure stand next to it like it is saying the words!

Now you are ready to read your book about seasons and your child will love moving their own mini-me from season to season as you read!